Developing Reliability Factors for Islamic Websites

rasheed Mohammad Nassr, murni Mahmud

Abstract


Muslims use the internet as a medium to disseminate Islam. This is seen as necessary due to the wide distribution of Muslims globally and difficulties to establish Islamic centres to teach Muslims and perform dawah (delivering message). Along with this, whether Islamic online information can be trusted has been questioned. The increase in cases of finding unreliable and sometime Islamophobia content websites and questionable authenticity of online information has led researchers and organisations to respond to the reliability issues. Among reliability research, only limited interest was directed to the reliability of Islamic website, despite the number of Islamic websites is growing significantly and is expected to attract a large number of users (Muslim population exceeds one billion) with growing reliance on the internet for their religious education and Islam dissemination. Therefore, this study explores the reliability perception in relation to Islamic websites from Muslim users’ perspective, as well as how to make reliability factors tangible and measurable to be recognised by computer software. The findings suggest that availability of Quranic verses, availability of citations for authentic prophetic biography, referencing authentic Hadith, reflecting mathahib perspectives, scholars’ and organisations’ involvement, and recommended websites’ content features are the major factors that influence the reliability of Islamic websites. Those factors cultivate the belief that Islamic websites have reliable, authentic, and well-referenced content. Emphasising these factors would increase the perceived level of reliability of Islamic websites, which would increase the acceptance for the Islamic messages delivered.


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